The most important time to remember to be professional, Sisson says, is when you're rushed, tired and have a lot on your mind. You don't want the caller to know this, so you need to be particularly careful in how you talk to him. Convey a definite confidence, having a firm but responsive voice. Friendly voice inflection is also important. Have a smile in the voice at all times.
Your storefront conveys an image
After that initial phone call, the next opportunity to reinforce your image is when the customer pulls up to your store. You can either build on the positive image you created on the phone, or mess it up. If your parking lot is laid out poorly, your storefront is unattractive with poor signage and color, and the area in front of the building is not kept clean, a negative image is portrayed. If that's the case, it's going to be tough to change the image that customer has of you.
Showroom: the nitty gritty
"If you've created a positive image to this point and have gotten the customer to visit your store, you can't let them down now," Sisson says. Doing whatever possible to make sure the customer is given prompt attention goes without saying. But if your employees are busy helping other customers, you need an environment that will encourage the customer who's waiting for help to hang around and browse for a little while.
"All the elements of showroom design come into play here: the way the product is displayed, signage, color schemes, and things like lighting and temperature," Sisson explains.
"While the customer is browsing, your showroom has to be communicating certain things. This is over here, that's over there. We have this brand and that brand. This machine rents for this much, and so on. Make it easy for your customers."